One material is used three different ways in this recent project by Emeryville designer Carolyn Rebuffel. A young family of four had been living in the home for a few years already and had spent many hours considering the changes they wanted to make in the remodel. Among their requests were for the space to be open, cohesive, kid-friendly, and lastly, to use every inch of space possible. Carolyn cites “texture and depth, a handmade feel, moody colors, and the play of shapes” as her inspiration for the home’s aesthetic. But where it really all started was a single piece of tile.

“The client loved this tile and it was her idea,” Carolyn explains. “When I met the husband and wife for our initial consultation, she was holding a piece of the entry tile in her hand. That tile was the impetus for the other tile “risk-taking” on the project and drove the powder room selections, flooring and some of the kitchen selections as well. I always tell people that if they love it, it will work—and in this case, it absolutely did!”

Tiling an entry is less common than a kitchen or powder room (two other rooms Carolyn designed in this home) but the unexpected material works perfect with the heavy, industrial-style door. Carolyn says, “With a few bold choices, we took the living area of the home from bland to exceptional and got to infuse a lot of the homeowners’ personality into the space, engineering it for how they lived, and making function really beautiful!”

Carolyn’s Advice for Selecting Tile
Don’t be afraid of color or texture. The entry tile really stands out because of its unique texture, while the green in the kitchen pops.

Decide if the tile is to be the rockstar or the supporting player in the room.

Make sure the tile is right for the intended use. For instance, not all tile can go on a shower floor, so check with the retailer to be sure it will work for your desired application before you fall in love.

Make the grout color selection an important part of the process—the choice can completely shift the look.

If you love it, it will work.

 See the entry, kitchen, and powder room in the slideshow!